Cyclone Michaung | Waterlogging in Chennai will be cleared in two days, says Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary

Death toll increased to nine, of which four died due to electrocution in Chennai and Chengalpattu

December 06, 2023 09:47 pm | Updated December 07, 2023 02:33 am IST - CHENNAI

Emergency services personnel rescue stranded residents from a flooded colony in Chennai on December 6, 2023.

Emergency services personnel rescue stranded residents from a flooded colony in Chennai on December 6, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena on Wednesday expressed hope that waterlogging in Chennai, especially the southern region of the city that was worst affected by the torrential rain brought by Cyclone Michaung, would be fully cleared in two days.

Addressing the media in Chennai along with senior officials from various departments, he said water stagnation continued in 866 locations in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, as of Wednesday morning.

Normalcy would be restored in the supply of electricity and milk and the operation of buses by Thursday, he said.

Editorial | Shared blame: On Chennai and Cyclone Michaung

Mr. Meena said the total confirmed death toll had increased to nine, including five in Chengalpattu and four in Chennai.

Of the four deaths in Chennai, three were due to electrocution and one due to treefall. In Chengalpattu, one person was electrocuted, one died in the flood, and three died in incidents of wall collapse. The heavy rain killed 311 cattle and completely damaged 378 huts, he said.

On the continuing inundation in southern Chennai, he said there were frequent blocks due to water hyacinth and garbage in Okkiyam Maduvu. He pointed out that this was the main canal that drains water from all the southern localities, including Pallikaranai and Madipakkam, into the Buckingham canal which, in turn, drains the water into the sea near Muttukadu.

Noting that he inspected Okkiyam Maduvu on Tuesday night, he said the water discharge into the canal had been doubled with the deployment of earthmoving equipment to keep clearing the blocks. On the issue of waterlogging on interior streets across the city, he said work was under way to clear them. He said 1,023 water pumps had been deployed across the city.

According to him, water drained in the central region within 24 hours due to the improved network of stormwater drains. The government was formulating a scheme to drain water from southern areas of Chennai directly into the sea to avoid flooding in the future, he said.

Cyclone Michaung in pictures

Mr. Meena said 14 lakh litres of milk was supplied on Wednesday – five lakh litres short of the normal supply of 19 lakh litres in Chennai.

He said only 4% of electricity feeders in the city were yet to resume functioning. Power supply had not been restored in areas where inundation continued, in order to avoid any accident, he said.

Tangedco Chairman and Managing Director Rajesh Lakhoni said that only the substations in Perumbakkam, Ennore and Melur that got damaged in the rain were yet to become functional. This would happen by Thursday, he said.

Municipal Administration and Water Supply Secretary D. Karthikeyan said that 16 out of the 22 subways in Chennai had been cleared for traffic on Wednesday. Waterlogging persisted in 56 out of the 488 bus routes on Wednesday.

The Chief Secretary said 85% of mobile connectivity and 87% of transport operations had resumed, and normal operations were expected to resume in a day.

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